13 April 2020

13 APRIL: Health Ministry says no new cases in 25 districts in last 2 weeks; PM to address at 10am tomorrow; 7 states already extended lockdown by 30 April. Will not gag press, implead PCI as party to case, SC tells Jamiat over 'demonisation of Muslims’ over Tablighi Jamaat event'. Several Countries Mull Easing Restrictions As Death Toll Slows Down In worst-hit nations- US, Italy, France


13 April 2020: 18 Shaban 1441: Vol: 12, No: 180



Health Ministry says no new cases in 25 districts in last 2 weeks; PM to address at 10am tomorrow;  7 states already extended lockdown by 30 April

In its daily briefing, Union Health Ministry said no new cases of novel coronavirus were detected in 25 districts from 15 states of the country in last 14 days. Health Secretary Luv Aggarwal said 905 new positive cases and 51 deaths due to the coronavirus were recorded in the last 24 hours in the country. The overall cases in country rose to 9,352 cases with 324 deaths. The ministry also said that over 2 lakh tests for COVID-19 have been conducted so far and they have enough stock to conduct tests for 6 weeks. Amid requests from states to extend the nationwide lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation at 10am tomorrow, the last day of 21-day lockdown. At least 7 states — Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana — have already announced an extension. As the country gears up to extend the lockdown after 21-day period ends tomorrow, the spread of COVID-19 cases to almost half the total districts in the country is likely to weigh on the mind of Central Govt in crafting a graded approach. Indian express


Mint Covid Tracker: With cases doubling in seven days, India’s corona curve has tapered

The number of reported covid-19 cases in India rose 24 percent over past 2 days to 8447, data from the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) published last evening showed. This is a slower increase compared to the previous 48 hours, when the reported case count rose 28 percent to 6761.Despite the slight tapering, India’s trajectory continues to be steeper than several Asian peers such as Singapore, Japan, and even Pakistan. But it is flatter than that of US, which has emerged as the new epicentre of the global pandemic, with the most number of active cases and deaths at moment.India’s case count is now roughly double what it was seven days ago. This is a slower rate compared to a few days ago, when cases were doubling every 4 days.livemint


Allow truckers to move freely across India, Centre tells States

Taking a serious view on disrupted movement of essential goods during the lockdown, Union Home Secretary has asked all the Chief Secretaries to ensure that trucks carrying food items and essential commodities are allowed free movement on all costs.IANS


Allow limited activity in select sectors, services with safeguards, DPIIT to MHA on lockdown exit plan

A key central department has recommended that certain identified industries and services should be allowed to resume limited activity with reasonable safeguards, as the Centre mulls easing some restrictions during likely extended coronavirus lockdown beyond April 14.The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in a series of of recommendations to Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) said these new activities in wide ranging spheres are essential in any lockdown exit plan to improve the country's economic activity and provide liquidity in the hands of the people. These new activities are essential to improve the economic activity and provide liquidity in the hands of the people, DPIIT said in its letter to Home Secretary,PTI


Lockdown: UP, MP to lift some curbs this week, cautiously

UPChief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced that some sectors will restart work while following social distancing norms from April 15, and that state ministries too, will start working from the same day. A meeting of cabinet ministers was held at CM’s residence, where these decisions were taken.In a video address, however, Adityanath said the state Govt would follow the Centre’s guidelines on the lockdown. In Bhopal, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the lockdown will continue after April 14, but in a different form.Procurement, rural employment guarantee scheme works, and small economic activities will be allowed in districts that have not been affected by the outbreak, he said. A high-level committee has been formed to suggest ways to improve the state’s economy.indianexpress


COVID-19: SC says free tests at pvt labs only for poor, those covered under PMJAY scheme

New Delhi:Hours after Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court, urging it to dismiss the petition on which it ordered free testing for COVID-19 in private laboratories, the apex court stated that the benefit of free testing in private labs is only for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and for those covered by Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) scheme. The SC also asked the central Govt to inform within a week, about any other EWS are also eligible for free tests.Last week, the SC had ruled that the testing relating to COVID-19 in approved Govt as well as private labs will be free of cost.indianexpress

Free Coronavirus Testing Only For Poor:Supreme Court

AMU starts free COVID-19 tests for people in Western UP

Aligarh: As the scourge of coronavirus Covid 19 continues, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC), AMU has been conducting free-of-cost, COVID-19 tests for patients from all parts of Western Uttar Pradesh.“Overall 1659 free tests have been conducted at JNMC in which 70 cases were turned positive for COVID-19,” said AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor.TCN


Covid-19: SC dismisses plea against PM-CARES fund, calls it ‘completely misconceived’

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition that questioned the legality of the creation of the “PM-CARES fund” formed to fight the spreading coronavirus in the country.PM-CARES – an acronym for Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations – is a fund set up by the Centre with the stated objective of being a “dedicated national fund” to deal with “any kind of emergency or distress situation”. The fund was announced by Modi last month in the wake of the ongoing crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.The petition, filed by advocate ML Sharma, alleged that the creation of PM CARES Fund was illegal, as it was not created by a statutory enactment.scroll


Will not gag press, implead PCI as party to case, SC tells Jamiat over 'demonisation of Muslims’ over Tablighi Jamaat event'

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to pass any interim order on the plea of a Muslim body seeking to restrain a section of media from allegedly spreading bigotry and communal hatred by linking the spread of coronavirus with the recent Nizamuddin Markaz incident, saying it would "not gag the press".The SC  also asked Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, which has alleged that a section of media is spreading communal hatred over last month''s Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, to implead Press Council of India (PCI) as a party to the case.A 3-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde, which heard the matter through video-conference, said it would not pass any interim order in the matter at this stage and posted the plea for hearing after two weeks."We will not gag press,"bench, also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and MM Shantanagoudar, told the counsel appearing for the petitioner. The bench was hearing a plea filed by Jamiat which has sought directions to the Centre to stop dissemination of "fake news" and take strict action against those responsible for it.The plea has alleged that unfortunate incident of Tablighi Jamaat was being used to "demonise" and blame entire Muslim community. During the hearing on Monday, counsel appearing for the petitioner claimed that media reporting and Govt reports are constantly talking about Tablighi spreading coronavirus in the country. When the petitioner''s counsel claimed that people were being attacked because of media reports, the bench observed, "We want to make solid long term measures about the news items. Once we take cognizance people will understand."The plea has sought directions to Centre to stop dissemination of fake news and take strict action against the section of the media spreading bigotry and communal hatred in relation to Nizamuddin Markaz issue.PTI


IB sleuths tracked thousands of participants of Tablighi Markaz event on basis on their mobiles: reports

New Delhi: In an unprecedented exercise of tracking down several thousand people in the shortest span of time, Multi Agency Centre (MAC) of IB saved the day for India by identifying suspected carriers of COVID-19, who gathered at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi last month, and later dispersed to various parts of the country. IB further tracked those, who were not part of the Jamaat, but had been located near Markaz during the period when the virus was spreading in the vicinity. Top sources in IB revealed to IANS that a huge data was dumped from several mobile towers located in Nizamuddin area from March 14 to March 22, to precisely identify ''human traffic'' in vicinity of Tablighi Jamaat Markaz, where around 7,000 Jamaatis had gathered for a religious meeting in different dates. The hallmark of this exercise was a quick decision and a much quicker zero error execution of the plan."The initial tip off came when trains originating from Nizamuddin station reached Hyderabad, in the 2nd week of March. The local administration discovered that these trains were carrying passengers (mostly Jamaatis).IG, IB, Vijayawada, communicated these scary developments to the higher ups," highly placed sources in the govt revealed. Through the official registers, IB sleuths and police traced mobile numbers and addresses of around 4,000 members of Tablighi Jamaat, mostly from southern states of India, who had attended meeting at Markaz from March 13 onwards. Union Health Ministry suggested the MHA to identify whole lot of people who visited the crowded Nizamuddin area in second and third week of March, and put them through a COVID-19 test. "It was a mammoth surveillance exercise, literally unheard in dept. However, IB officials with help of cellular operators launched the operation. In a very short time the sleuths had to collate and analyse huge data and further disseminate it for the end users, across the country,"said a DG level IPS officer. IANS/Times Now


‘Markaz has impeccable record’: Lawyer explains Tablighi chief’s self-quarantine

Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi is an Advocate-on-Record practicing at the Supreme Court. He has been practicing law for 15 years and is now representing the Tablighi Jamaat, which is at the centre of a massive controversy for defying prohibitory orders as a result of the congregation at the Markaz in Nizamuddin. Ayyubi has previously been counsel in various high profile cases including that of Assam NRC.Recently, on his petition, the apex court issued notices to all State/UT governments to respond to the plea seeking establishment of community kitchens across the country. In a conversation with IANS he details what exactly happened at Markaz. Advocate Ayyubi said, "the congregation of TJ existed much prior to the issuance of any prohibitory orders. Pursuant to the orders, steps were taken by Markaz to disband and disperse the congregation. The people got stranded in Markaz as they belonged to places outside Delhi. It is wrong to say that Maulana Saad has not joined investigation. He has duly submitted the requisite information to them, very much complying with such notice and with the investigation. The investigation is underway, therefore nothing much can be said at this stage."HT


UP: Tablighi Jamaat members allege brutality in quarantine

Lucknow: ‘You people began Corona Jihad here. Unless you Muslims are beaten properly, you won’t understand your station. I will send you people to Nizamuddin.’ Saeed Akhtar’s (name changed) voice quivered as he repeated the line his nephew had heard. Mudassar (name changed), a member of Tablighi Jamaat, is under quarantine in Meerut. Several members of Tablighi Jamaat have alleged that they have been facing communal slurs, mistreatment and harassment under quarantine in Meerut, where they have been kept after being exposed to the novel coronavirus. They have alleged that the administration is mistreating them and a number of young men blamed Govt officials for using communal slurs.“Nearly 2 months ago, Mudassar had appeared for intermediate examinations. For 3 days, he went to Jamaat in Mawana (Meerut) where he probably came into contact with a Jamaat of foreign delegates,” said Saeed. He mentioned that Mudassar was “absolutely fine” when he got back home, but “when he had coronavirus symptoms a few days later, he went to an intermediate college in Kila Parikshitgarh which has turned into a quarantine centre.” Saeed added that his nephew was taken to a lab for screening a couple of days later and tested positive. He was then taken to another quarantine centre in Meerut city's Panchli Khurd area. “Before taking him from here, Mudassar was beaten by sub-inspector Sanjay Baliyan. While beating Mudassar, Baliyan was saying 'Aur Jamaat me jayega' (Will you go again for Jamaat?),” Saeed alleged, telling NewsClick that “communal slurs were hurled at him before they took him to the quarantine centre.” NewsClick


Tablighi Impact: UP Muslims fear lynching post lockdown

Lucknow:Muslims in UPare now worried that intense communal profiling of the Corona patients by the official agencies could lead to lynching incidents once the lockdown is lifted. Muslim scholar and former SP spokesman, Abdul Hafiz Gandhi, on Monday said, "The manner in which the Govt agencies are identifying persons belonging to Tablighi Jamaat in the list of Covid-19 patients is now translating into intense communal profiling which has been prohibited by the World Health Organization and the central government. A very small percentage of Muslims subscribe to the Tablighi Jamaat ideology but the impression going around is that the Muslim community, in general, is spreading coronavirus."He said that there was a strong possibility of Muslims, in general, being attacked after the lockdown is lifted."This is exactly what happened on the cow slaughter issue. Even a small rumour led to people being lynched by mobs across the country. Corona is a pandemic and should be treated like one. We should fight against the virus together instead of creating a communal divide. Every day, the Govt spokesman lays down the number of Corona positive cases and then goes on to say how many of them are from Tablighi Jamaat," he explained.Amir Haider, a social activist and also a veteran Congress leader, echoed similar sentiments when he said, "We strongly condemn Tablighi Jamaat for ignoring the protocols and holding the congregation but why is the state Govt repeatedly harping on the religious angle. Shia and Sunni clerics are repeatedly asking the people to adhere to Govt guidelines and follow safety protocols."A retired IAS officer, who did not wish to be named, said, that people have already started objecting to taking home deliveries from Muslim employees.IANS


Abused, Stopped From Selling Vegetables, Allege Muslim Vendors In UP

Lucknow: 5 vegetable sellers in Uttar Pradesh's Mahoba district have submitted a written complaint to the authorities that they were abused and stopped from selling their goods by a group because they are Muslims. One of vendors told NDTV that the group accused them of spreading coronavirus and said they were members of Tablighi Jamaat -- an Islamic sect linked to hundreds of COVID-19 cases across the country.The vendors in their complaint said they had gone to some villages to sell vegetables on April 11. Scores of people were buying from them, they allege, when a group of men asked the buyers not to purchase vegetables as they were Muslims. The sellers were abused, and asked to leave the village, they said."We had gone to a village to sell vegetables. Over 100 people came to buy in the 15 minutes we were there. About 10-15 people had already bought from us. Then some other people came and said 'these people are Muslims don't buy from them'," Mohammad Shamim, one of the vendors, said.NDTV


Covid-19: 14 villages in UPsealed because of one man

The district administration in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun has put 14 villages under quarantine after a man tested positive for coronavirus disease Covid-19.The man from Andhra Pradesh was staying in a mosque in Bhavanipur Khali area of the district, reported PTI. He had attended Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin last month.HT


8 persons, including Imam of mosque, booked under NSA for opposing sealing in Meerut

Meerut :NSA would be imposed on Imam of a mosque and 7 others for attempting to prevent the officials from sealing the Jali Kothi area of the city after 3 persons were tested positive with Covid 19.The situation now is situated to be under control while the three Corona positives are undergoing treatment in isolation ward in the LLRM Medical college. According to SSP Ajay Kumar Sahni, police have arrested 8 persons including Imam of the mosque that has been sealed and would be booked under NSA.thestatesman


Communalization of Coronavirus: Bihar Muslim Leaders Urge CM Nitish Kumar to Act against Erring Officials

New Delhi/Patna:Top Muslim organizations in Bihar have strongly objected to the wording in some Govt officials’ letters regarding alleged conspiracy to spread Coronavirus in the country and urged CM Nitish Kumar to act against the concerned officials for attempts to give a communal colour to epidemic. CMO is believed to have reprimanded the concerned officials.In a joint statement on Sunday, Muslim organizations recorded strong objection to the letter written by DM of Bettiah (West Champaran) and urged CM to take action.Objecting to the language of the Govt officials’ letters, leaders of several eminent Muslim organizations, including Imarat Shariah, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and Jamiat Ulama, said “attempts to give communal colour to Coronavirus cannot be acceptable at all.”IndiaTomorrow


MP: 235 positive, 30 dead in Indore, no Nizamudin Markaz link

Indore: 30 people aged between 30 and 84 have died after testing positive for the Coronavirus till now. The average age of the dead is 51 and none of them has any connection with Nizamudin Markaz that has drwan a lot of flak for allegedly spreading the virus across the country.In Indore, so far, 235 people has tested positive for the virus and of these no one has any link with Markaz, a top official involved in analysing Covid-19 data for the Govt told India Today.India Today


Several Union Ministers, officials return to work at Ministries

Most of Ministers and officials have been following the government’s work-from-home protocols issued in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of State for Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju, Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel were some of early office-goers on Monday, along with other senior officials.PTI


Lockdown may cost ₹7-8 lakh crore to Indian economy

 The lockdown that shut a majority of the factories and businesses, suspended flights, stopped trains and restricted movement of vehicles and people, may have cost the Indian economy ₹7-8 lakh crore during 21-day lockdown period, analysts and industry bodies said.Centrum Institutional Research said,  “Nationwide complete lockdown is likely to shave off at least ₹7-8 trillion,”.PTI


Telangana: Inspector Suspended, Police Says RSS Workers at Checkposts Had No Permission

New Delhi: As photographs on social media showing RSS workers manning a police check post in Telangana triggered a row, officials on Sunday said no permission was given to the volunteers and they were told to leave the place.The police inspector in charge of the check post, has since been shifted and attached to the headquarters, police said adding no case had been registered over the incident. Indian Express has quoted Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat as having said, “This is the job of the police and we can do it. No permission has been given [to RSS workers].”The RSS, on its part, dismissed as ‘false’ the reports about its members checking ID cards at checkposts and said these were motivated by “narrow and vested interests”.thewire


UP police’s mock drill video shared as ‘corona Jihadis’ arrested during lockdown

A video showing a group of policemen gunning down men rushing past a blockade is doing the rounds on social media. As soon as their car reaches blockade, the men come down charging and supposedly shooting at the policemen. The video is said to be from UP’s Ayodhya city.On April 4, Facebook user Shivanshu Shukla posted the video and said, “The incident is from Chor Bazaar. Jay Yogi raj. ‘Jihadis’ did you not know that UP’s Ayodhya is the land of Shri Ram. Good job UP police.” The video has been shared more than 500 times so far.The message in Hindi reads, “चौरे बाजार की घटना जय योगी राज जेहादियों क्या तुम्हें नही पता था कि ये UP का अयोध्या मर्यादा पुरुषोत्तम श्री राम की धरातल है God job UP police.” The video is quite viral on Facebook with similar claims that these men are ‘corona Jihadis’. Alt News contacted Ayodhya City SP and was informed that the claim that certain men were arrested is false. It was confirmed that the clip is a mock drill video. Thus, a video of a mock drill conducted by UP Police was shared with false claim that police arrested people who aimed to spread coronavirus.altnews


Video from Pak falsely linked with Hindu man’s alleged murder by Muslim men in Rajasthan

A gruesome video of 2 men hacking another with an axe has been shared on social media in the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic. It is being claimed that the video represents the recent incident from Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer where a man named Rewat Singh was hacked to death. According to Dainik Jagran, Singh had taken part in PM Modi’s ‘thali bajao’ event on March 22 which enraged some locals who attacked him on April 4, subsequently leading to his death a few days later. Singh’s nephew filed an FIR naming Shahid Khan, Sadik Khan and Hamtullah. The same video was also uploaded on YouTube on March 24. As per description, one Noman Shahid was attacked in Pakistan’s Gojra district. The description also carried the words ” Chak 179 GB.” Gojra is located in Pakistan’s Toba Tek Singh in Punjab.altnews


ANI caught spreading fake news once again by wrongly quoting TN Secretary, forced to delete tweet on hidden reference to Tablighi Jamaat

Days after it was caught spreading fake news on Tablighi Jamaat by Noida Police, ANI has once been forced to again express ‘regrets’ for ‘incorrectly’ quoting Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Beela Rajesh on the number of positive COVID-19 cases under the ‘single source’ category implying that they had visited Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz.A news flash by the ANI on Sunday said, “106 news positive cases reported in Tamil Nadu today, of which 90 persons are from ‘single source conduct’. Total number of positive cases rises to 1075 in the state, of which 971 cases are from single source conduct. Total 11 deaths till now: Beela Rajesh, Tamil Nadu Health Secy.”However, the news agency was soon forced to issue a clarification for falsely quoting Rajeesh after many social media users highlighted how the Tamil Nadu health secretary had never used word ‘single source conduct’ in her daily press briefing. ANI also misreported the numbers of positive cases with travel history.ANI deleted its earlier tweet and issued a clarification with a stunning admission that it had incorrectly quoted Rajesh.jantakareporter


COVID-19 and Islamophobia: Another Indian sacked by Dubai firm for objectionable Facebook post

Another Indian hatemonger working in Dubai has been sacked from his job for sharing a Facebook post mocking Islam. Hyderabad’s Bala Krishna Nakka, who worked as Chief Accountant at Dubai’s Moro Hub Data Solutions Company, has become the third Indian this month to have lost his job in UAE for mocking Islam in the wake of the COVIND-19 pandemic. Nakka had shared a cartoon featuring two Muslims as human bombs interacting with other. While one was shown to be a Taliban suicide bomber, second was portrayed as a member of the Tablighi Jamaat, who had corona bomb strapped to his body..Earlier, an Indian was sacked from his job in Kuwait for insulting Islam by linking the faith to spread of coronavirus.jantakareporter


‘Hunger has no religion’: Hyderabad man Azhar Maqsusi has fed homeless for 8 years now

Azhar Maqsusi is a well-known figure in Hyderabad. For the last eight years, Azhar has been waking up at 6 am. After spending some quality time with family, he steps out of his house at 10 am to get groceries from Fateh Khan Bazaar. He and his team soon start cooking and by afternoon, hundreds of people who have not had a single meal, would be fed in Hyderabad. Since the nationwide lockdown began, several people, including volunteers and NGOs, across various states have been pitching in to provide food to migrant labourers, homeless people and others who are stranded. For Azhar, however, this act of serving food to the needy has been a consistent one.  It has been eight years since he started feeding people under the Dabeerpura flyover in the city. Over the years, the work has expanded and Azhar and his team feed almost 1,500 people everyday at multiple areas across city, and even in other states in India.thenewsminute


Forced to skip meals, break into savings: Unorganised workers in TN struggle

A single mother to a final year B.Com student, 40-year-old Sathiya, who is a tailor in Chennai, struggles to make ends meet. With no orders from nearby shops, and tasked with taking care of two relatives stuck in the city due to the lockdown, Sathiya was forced to break into her savings, which have now run dry. 4 of them have had no choice but to live on 2 meals a day to survive the rest of the lockdown. Sathiya says her meagre savings of Rs 1000 managed to get them through first few days of the lockdown. “I had savings not more than Rs 1,000 as I was regularly paying my mobile phone EMI and Rs 8,000 rent,” she says, “After separating from my husband a few years ago, I fell ill. This restricted me from working overtime.” While the tailor normally earns Rs 10,000 a month, she says that March 25 lockdown reduced her income. “Last month, I didn’t even manage to make Rs. 10,000.”The Tamil Nadu government’s cash assistance of Rs 1000 to all family card holders is simply not enough, says Sathiya, noting, “The Govt has given only Rs 1,000. We cannot run the household with this money.” Like Sathiya, members of the unorganised sector are among the worst hit in Tamil Nadu. thenewsminute


No income, food or ration: Life of slum residents brought to a standstill

On Monday afternoon, Chandrashree, an activist with Sadhana Mahila Sanghatane, was greeted by the sight of hungry children, running out of their shanties, towards her two-wheeler, hoping she had brought food. Chandrashree distributed biscuit packets to the children, who sat down on the road leading to their homes and began eating the biscuits. Located in Uttarahalli, around 300 migrant workers from north Karnataka live in the slum. With the lockdown in place, the residents had not eaten since the morning of March 28. The last meal they had was puliyogare from Indira Canteens, which was delivered to them by volunteers. Shanti*, a 31-year-old mother of two children and a resident of the slum in Uttarahalli, says that most families had run out of ration since it was the end of the month. With no shops open in the vicinity, they had been drinking water when they felt hungry.thenewsminute


Karnataka teen tries to 'smuggle' friend into flat inside a suitcase

A teenaged boy in Mangaluru, in Karnataka’s major port city, attempted to smuggle in his friend into his flat in a suitcase in order to bypass security amid the lockdown, police said on Sunday. The incident occurred in an apartment complex on Arya Samaj Road in Mangaluru."As the boy was bored at being stuck at home due to the lockdown all alone, he tried to wheel in his friend for company. He did this by pushing him in a suitcase through the apartment security gate. But he was caught by neighbours in the apartment building, who found that the baggage was wobbling," the Kadri police station sub-inspector N. Vishwanath told IANS on the phone.thenewsminute


Andhra bans spitting of tobacco in public places: Violators will be punished

Andhra Govt has issued orders prohibiting public from using and spitting tobacco, paan masala and other such chewable products in public places, in order to contain the COVID-19 disease. Earlier on Wednesday, Telangana Govt had issued similar orders.  As per the order issued by Special Chief Secretary (Health) KS Jawahar Reddy, people in the state are hereby “refrained from consuming the smokeless tobacco or chewable tobacco/non-tobacco product, sputum etc and spitting in public places/institutions with immediate effect during the Covid epidemic.” Any violations will be punishable under IPC and CrPC, the order said. thenewsminute


Delhi: Praveen Babbar Arrested For Thrashing a Vegetable Seller

Police arrested a man on Monday for abusing and thrashing a young vegetable seller with a wooden stick in southeast Delhi after the poor man failed to show an identity card but told him his name, officials said.A video of the incident in Tajpur road area was widely shared on social media, following which the police received a message from its cyber cell.In the video, Praveen Babbar, a resident of Badarpur Extension, is seen asking the vegetable seller to show his identity card but he could not. The man then angrily asks him his name and address. When the vegetable seller identifies himself as Mohammad Saleem, the man abuses him and beats him.He also threatens him to not come in the locality without an ID.When analysing the video, police said, they spotted a motorcycle bearing a Delhi registration. The police then contacted the vehicle owner, Sudhanshu,a resident of Molarband."Sudhanshu told police that the incident took place at Tajpur road and identified the man who hit the vegetable seller as Praveen Babbar,"said DCP RP Meena.PTI


Life In Delhi's COVID-19 Hotspots Becomes Tougher As Supply Chain Takes Massive Hit

There is tight vigil around COVID-19 hotspots identified by Delhi Govt with barricades and police vans frequently moving around with blaring sirens. Life has become tougher for residents of most hotspot areas where there are no shops selling grocery items, vegetables, fruits or other daily household items.Many Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) say there are no supplies coming into their localities. "Many of residents who had headed our call for preparedness ahead of the lockdown, have fared better as they had stocked up on essentials,” says Rajiv Kakaria of Greater Kailash-I RWA. But he is worried how long the supplies will last as many affluent families in his colony have been contributing ration to over 100 construction workers living in the incomplete residential projects. Some of them have gone back to their rented houses in the outskirts of Delhi and others have returned to their villages. But still there is a sizable number of the needy.In many colonies, Gurudwaras and other religious institution have been giving food to the poor. outlookindia


Delhi wholesale vegetable markets to open from 6 am to 6 pm, odd-even rule to be implemented

Delhi Govt announced on Monday that wholesale vegetable markets in the national capital will remain open from 6 am to 11 am and from 2 pm to 6 pm. Development Minister Gopal Rai said that vegetables will be sold in the wholesale markets from 6 am to 11 am while fruits will be sold from 2 pm to 6 pm. Rai futher said that odd-even rule will be implemented in wholesale markets in Delhi under which traders will sell vegetables on alternate days. The odd-even rule will be followed by traders according to their shed numbers to maintain social distancing. Jagran News


Meat shops closed in Kashmir while in some states liquor considered essential: Omar Abdullah

Srinagar:Reacting sharply to reports that liquor shops would open in some states during the lockdown period, ex-CM and NC vice-president Omar Abdullah alleged that in Kashmir shops selling meat and essential supplies are not allowed to open while in some states even liquor factories are considered essential.“National lockdown be damned! Booze must flow,” Abdullah added.“In Kashmir shops selling meat & essential supplies aren’t being allowed to open while in some states even liquor factories are considered essential to survival,” ex CM twitted. UNI


Most Covid-19 patients in Assam fine, to be discharged soon

Guwahati:Most of 30 Covid-19 patients in Assam are recovering and their discharge from hospitals is expected to start on Wednesday."Most patients, earlier infected by nCoV, are either stable or good. If everything remains fine, their discharge is likely to start from April 15," said Assam Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, here on Monday.Addressing the media, he said, "Of 3,209 swab samples collected, 3,070 were found negative. Of the 1,421 samples of Tablighi Jamaat meet participants, 29 tested positive and 1,358 negative. Test report of 34 samples are awaited."IANS


Coronavirus: Hyderabad Police book local Tablighi Jamaat leader

Hyderabad Police has booked local Tablighi Jamaat leader Mohammed Ikram Ali after foreigners were given shelter at local office despite the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the state.Around 30-40 people including foreigners were given shelter at Mallepally Markaz (Telangana Headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat) violating the Govt orders. Habeeb Nagar police earlier this month had shifted nine members of Jamaat including its president, Mohammed Ikram Ali, to a Govt hospital for quarantine.indiatoday


 17 foreigners with Tablighi Jamaat links sent to jail

Bahraich: Just after completeing their stay at a quarantine centre, as many as 17 residents of Indonesia and Thailand were sent to jail in Bahraich district for violating the Passport Act and visa norms on Sunday.They had all come to Bahraich after attending the Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin and detained, along with four Indians, from two centres in the town by police on March 31.TOI


Visa, e-visa of foreigners stranded due to COVID-19 extended till Apr 30: MHA

New Delhi: The Govt on Monday extended on gratis basis the regular visa and e-visa of foreign nationals who are stranded in India due to COVID-19 till April 30, Home Ministry said.In a statement, ministry said all those foreigners whose regular visa, e-visa or stay stipulation expired or would be expiring during Feb.1 (midnight) to April 30 (midnight), would be "extended till April 30 (midnight) on gratis basis, after making an online application by foreigners".PTI


Lockdown effect: Poor Bihar woman sells her gas stove with cylinder for Rs1000 to buy food grains

Patna:A 60-year-old woman in Bihar has sold off her prized possession to stay alive—a gas stove with single LPG cylinder that she had bought only two months back!Jamila Khatoon, a resident of Kalyanpur locality under Fatuha block in Patna district, had bought the gas stove with one cylinder at the cost of Rs2,300.She hoped her effort would end the year-old problem of arranging for fuel food to cook food and protect her health that was deteriorating due to smoke released from the unclean fuel. She, though, didn’t know that it was going to be just a temporary solution.Trouble began after the lockdown left her son jobless. Her son would sell clothes on the footpath and the income from this business would support his family of 5, including his old mother.biharpost




Several Countries Mull Easing Restrictions As Death Toll Slows Down In worst-hit nations- US, Italy, France

The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has slowed in some of the worst-hit countries, with Spain readying Monday to reopen parts of its economy as govts grapple with a once-in-a-century recession. Italy, France and US have all seen a drop in COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, with Italy -- European nation most afflicted -- reporting its lowest toll in more than 3 weeks. It came as Pope Francis delivered an unprecedented livestream message to a world under lockdown on Easter Sunday, and Britain's Boris Johnson left the hospital, thanking medics for saving his life. More than half of the planet's population is staying home as part of efforts to stem spread of the virus, which emerged in China has now killed at least 112,500 people, overwhelming healthcare systems and crippling the world economy. In US -- now the world's worst-hit nation with a fifth of all deaths and more than half a million confirmed cases -- the govt's top infectious disease expert added to cautious optimism that the pandemic may have reached its peak.Anthony Fauci said parts of the country could begin easing restrictions in May, but warned that the world's biggest economy would not turn back on like a "light switch".UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, like Donald Trump, had initially resisted stringent measures such as shutting down public places.Some factory and construction workers in Spain were set to return to work on Monday, with police to hand out face masks at metro and train stations. While sub-Saharan Africa has not been as badly hit by coronavirus pandemic as some other parts of world, economy is being pummelled.Govts are under pressure to keep populations safe while preventing economic collapse, amid warnings of a downturn not seen since Great Depression.AFP


Spain loosens lockdown restrictions as coronavirus toll drops

Hundreds of thousands of people were allowed to return to work for the first time since a coronavirus outbreak in Spain caused Govt to impose a lockdown, according to dpa news agency. People in regions of Spain where Easter Monday is not a national holiday were allowed to leave their homes to go to work in a slight relaxation of a lockdown that has been in place since last month. Some businesses, including construction and manufacturing, were allowed to reopen, but most of the population are still confined to their homes, and shops, bars and public spaces will remain closed until at least April 26.Spain's overnight death toll from coronavirus fell to 517 from Sunday's 619, bringing the total death toll to 17,489, health ministry said, adding that it was the smallest proportional daily increase since tracking began.aljazeera


Iran reports 111 new deaths from coronavirus

Iran's death toll from the new coronavirus has risen to 4,585, with 111 deaths overnight, a health ministry official tweeted, adding the total number of infected cases had reached 73,303 in most-affected Middle Eastern country." Fortunately 45,983 of those infected with the virus have recovered ... There were 1,617 new infected cases in the past 24 hours," tweeted Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to Iran's health minister.Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV that 3,877 of those infected with the new coronavirus were in critical condition.


Yemen's Houthis release prisoners to stem COVID-19 spread

Houthi rebels in Yemen have released more than 2,000 prisoners to prevent the spread of coronavirus in areas they control, the group announced.Rebel-linked chief prosecutor Nabil al-Azani said in a statement that the group had released 2,361 prisoners since mid-March as part of the precautionary measures against the virus.He added that certain criteria were applied on those who were released, including serving three quarters of their sentences and good conduct.aljazeera


Indonesian Muslims advised to limit Ramadan activities

Indonesia's top Islamic scholars urged Muslims in the country to follow Govt advice and limit religious activities to their homes during Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Indonesian Ulema Council clarified the provision was not intended to curb prayers and worship during Ramadan, but was only a measure to help the country in its fight against COVID-19."Keep the house as the center of activity and avoid concentration of worshippers in one spot," said Asrorun Niam Sholeh, a spokesman for the council.


Erdogan rejects minister's resignation over coronavirus curfew

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan has rejected resignation of his interior minister, who had said he would quit after a much-criticised weekend curfew to tackle the coronavirus outbreak which caught millions of people by surprise."In a process carried out diligently and meticulously, the responsibility for all implementation of the weekend curfew to stem the pandemic falls on me in every respect," Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Twitter.Later , Turkish presidency said that Erdogan had not accepted the resignation. Turkey announced the weekend lockdown late on Friday, but in the brief time before it went into effect, many people rushed out to buy food and drink in the country's commercial hub Istanbul, a city of 16 million people, and other cities. The lockdown ended at 21:00 GMT on Sunday. On Sunday, Turkey reported 97 more deaths related to the novel coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 1,198. aljazeera


Ex Israeli chief rabbi dies after contracting coronavirus

A former Israeli chief rabbi has died after contracting the coronavirus, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, in what is the country’s highest-profile death from the pandemic. Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, who served from 1993 to 2003 as the state’s top chaplain for Sephardim, or Jews of Middle Eastern and North African descent, succumbed late on Sunday to complications from the respiratory virus in a Jerusalem hospital, aged 79, Israeli media said.“Tragically, Rabbi Bakshi-Doron contracted the coronavirus and doctors’ efforts to save him did not succeed,” Netanyahu said.MEMO


Israel closes off Jerusalem's ultra-Orthodox areas to stem coronavirus spread

Israel locked down mainly ultra-Orthodox Jewish areas of Jerusalem on Sunday to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus from the densely populated neighbourhoods where the infection rate is high.The entry and exit restrictions, enforced by police roadblocks, were imposed on the same day that a Govt order for the wearing of masks in public went into effect throughout the country. Residents of the restricted neighbourhoods in Jerusalem can still shop close to home for essentials. Synagogues have been closed to try to stem infections, as they have been across the country. Israel has reported 10,878 confirmed coronavirus cases and 103 deaths. Palestinian officials listed 268 cases in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, with two fatalities.In the West Bank, Palestinian Finance Minister Shukri Bishara said the Palestinian Authority (PA) asked Israel to help it deal with the economic hardship caused by the coronavirus crisis.middleeastmonitor



China clamps down on research tracing Covid-19 origins, will strictly scrutinise all papers

China has imposed restrictions on the publication of academic research about how the novel coronavirus originated. A central Govt directive and online notices published by two Chinese universities, which have now been removed, have disclosed it, said a report by CNN.  These restrictions are being viewed as an effort by the Chinese Govt to control the narrative on the origin of the global pandemic, because the viral disease was first reported from Wuhan in the country’s Hubei province.The restrictions rule that all academic papers on coronavirus will be subjected to an additional vetting before being submitted for publication. According to the online notices, which have now been deleted, any research material on the origin of the novel coronavirus will be scrutinised and must be approved by central Govt officials.theprint/CNN


'China Took Strong Measures To Successfully Control COVID-19': World’s leading health expert  Wafaa El-Sadr

World’s leading health expert and Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine at Columbia University, Wafaa El-Sadr says China was successful in containing the coronavirus due to the strong and rapid measures undertaken by the government. In an interview to Outlook’s Rajat Mishra, El-Sadr, who is also the director of ICAP at Columbia University, New York and the director of the Global Health Initiative at the Mailman School of Public Health, tells that most experts would say US took an incremental approach rather than a decisive approach to contain the virus and that may have been the Achilles’ heel.  She said, "China was able to rapidly identify the virus, determine its structure and share it with scientists around the world. This enabled the development of diagnostic tests and the beginning of work to identify specific treatment for this infection and the pursuit of a vaccine. In addition, facing the onslaught of an enormous number of cases and the potential for movement of millions of its citizens for the annual lunar new year holidays, China was compelled to take strong measures to contain the virus. This included restriction of movement of populations, as well as rigorous social distancing measures such as closing schools and businesses, stopping mass transit, requiring people to stay at home, with exceptions for seeking health services or food. These measures, while difficult to implement and sustain, were successful in controlling COVID-19 in China."outlookindia



Delhi 2020 Violence: 294 FIRs, Over 800 Arrested, Police on Manhunt for More Suspects

New Delhi:Even as entire nation is busy in dealing with the dreaded COVID-19, Delhi police have gone on an overdrive to arrest people in connection with the northeast Delhi’s February 2020 riot cases.Police are reported to have arrested over 800 persons so far from Delhi as also from other places, particularly in Western UP. Majority of those arrested are said to be Muslims, though they were victims who suffered heavily in terms of loss of life and destruction of their properties, houses, shops and commercial establishments.While Crime Branch is said to have arrested 182 suspects in connection with 42 murder cases it is probing, northeast district police have arrested 620 people in connection with the riots. Police are on the manhunt for more suspects.The suspects have been arrested with regard to 294 FIRs registered in nine police stations as the areas where riots took place were spread under the jurisdictions of these police stations, apart from those registered by Special Cell and Crime Branch.  Police sources said that earlier three-four murder cases were registered in one FIR but now only one FIR was registered in one murder case only. These police stations are: Khureji Khas, Welcome, New Usmanpur, Bhajanpura, Jafrabad, Dayalpur, Jyoti Nagar, Gokul Puri and Karawal Nagar.As many as 30 persons are reported to be still missing and not traceable but the Govt is not giving data.According to social activists, over 5,000 people were displaced as their houses were burnt and they could not return as relief and repair work was completely stopped due to the lockdown. These displaced persons are living in rented houses, Govt shelter places or with their relatives and friends.What is surprising is that when the Govt is being lenient even to the prisoners and people in detention centres during lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Ministry of Home Affairs is reported to have ordered the Delhi not to show any leniency against the suspects of the riot cases. Police sources say it is easy for police to arrest the suspects as all of them are in their houses during lockdown and cannot run away and hide.India Tomorrow


Civil rights group condemns ‘arbitrary arrests’ of Jamia students

New Delhi: 26 civil rights activists and political leaders have condemned the recent “arbitrary arrests” of Jamia students during Covid-19 lockdown, and alleged that the police was “abusing” its powers by arresting those critical of Govt policies under the “cover” of the lockdown. They also demanded “immediate and unconditional” release of the students.2 Jamia student activists Meeran Haider from Chhatra Rashtriya Janata Dal and Safoora Zargar from the Jamia Coordination Committee have been arrested by the Delhi Police.The signatories to the statement include political leaders Yogendra Yadav from Swaraj India, Annie Raja from CPI and Kavita Krishnan from CPI-ML  as well as activists like Medha Patkar, Teesta Setalvad, Harsh Mander and Umar Khalid.The signatories said besides Zargar and Haider’s arrest, “several other activists & students of Jamia are being called for questioning by the Special Cell every day amid this lockdown”. The full list of signatories include: Anjali Bhardawaj, Annie Raja, Arundhati Dhuru, Ashish Ranjan, Avik Saha, Bilal Khan, Chayanika Shah, Fahad Ahmed, Farah Naqvi, Ganesh Devy, Harsh Mander, Kamayani Swami, Kavita Krishnan, Kiran Vissa, Lara Jesani , Madhuri Krishnaswamy, Medha Patkar, Meera Sangamitra, Nadeem Khan, Sandhya Gokhale, Sandeep Pandey, Teesta Setalvad, Umar Khalid, Yogendra Yadav and Zahid Qadri.indianexpress


MPs and MLAs call Teltumbde’s arrest on Ambedkar Jayanti a ‘national shame’

Calling upon Dr Anand Teltumbde’s arrest on Ambedkar Jayanti as a “national shame”, 10 Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly, both current and former, including two from Gujarat, wrote an open letter on Sunday.Coinciding with the upcoming Ambedkar Jayanti, Dr Anand Teltumbde, will be complying with the Supreme Court’s order to surrender to jail authorities. He will be surrendering on April 14,  between noon and 2 pm at the Sessions Court in Mumbai.Teltumbde was charged under the provisions of UAPA and various sections of IPC following the violence at Bhima Koregaon village in Maharashtra on January 1, 2018.“We, undersigned, call upon the Dalits, Adivasis, OBCs, and minority leaders to stand up and seek justice in the finest of traditions that Babasaheb has bequeathed to us… It becomes our duty to come together at this hour and demand that Indian authorities allow Teltumbde to live and write, to be a free spirit that enlivens our democratic selves, and remain the beacon that he is for educating, organising, and agitating for a better India and a better world,” the signatories includes Jignesh Mevani, independent MLA from Vadgam in Banaskantha district and Naushad Solanki, Congress MLA from Dasada in Surendranagar.indianexpress


‘The Wire’ editor asked to appear in Ayodhya on April 14, SHO says sought email statement

New Delhi :Days after registering 2 FIRs against the “editor of The Wire” for making allegedly objectionable remarks against UPChief Minister Yogi Adityanath, a team of Ayodhya police arrived at the home of the news website’s founding-editor Siddharth Varadarajan in Delhi on Friday and served a notice, asking him to appear on April 14. Confirming that local police personnel had gone to Delhi to serve the notice, asking Varadarajan to appear before April 14 to get his statement recorded in the case, Ayodhya Circle officer Amar Singh said the team was accompanied by a policeman from Delhi. Asked how Varadarajan can appear before Ayodhya police at a time when the lockdown is in place, SHO at Ayodhya Police Station Suresh Pandey said on Sunday, “I spoke to the editor of The Wire today and asked him to send his statement through email. He agreed to send his statement by tomorrow.”indianexpress


Over 200  Journalists condemn FIR against Varadarajan

A group of over 200 journalists has condemned the FIR filed against founding editor of news portal The Wire Siddharth Varadarajan by UPpolice.The group consisting of journalists from both print and electronic media termed it a brazen attempt to muzzle the media. The statement was endorsed by N. Ram, Chairman, The Hindu Group of Publications; Sonia Singh, Editorial Director, NDTV; R. Vijaya Sankar, Editor, Frontline; Rajdeep Sardesai, Consulting Editor, India Today Group; Om Thanvi, former editor, Jansatta; and veteran and senior journalists like Prem Shankar Jha, Harish Khare, John Dayal, Neerja Chowdhry, Sagarika Ghose and Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay.thehindu


Manipuri PhD Student at JNU Arrested for Year-Old Article Critical of BJP-Led State Govt

New Delhi: A Muslim man from Manipur, enrolled as a PhD scholar at the history department of New Delhi’s JNU, has been arrested by the state police and charged with inciting “communal disharmony” and inciting “disaffection towards the government” besides slapping other charges under IPC for writing an article critical of BJP-led state government’s policy towards his community. Mohammad Chingiz Khan, on April 7, 2019, had co-written an article in the English daily The Pioneer headlined, ‘Pangals victim of manufactured insecurity‘. The Muslims are locally termed ‘pangals‘.In that article, he gave a number of examples of state action, including the eviction of about 500 Pangal Muslims from a reserved forest, to accuse the N. Biren Singh Govt of indulging in “a conscious and political sidelining of the Pangals in Manipur.”On April 8, Khan was picked up from his residence under the Mayang Imphal police station in Imphal West district and remanded to six days police custody.Khan’s arrest has triggered condemnation from various youth organisations and student bodies demanding that he be released immediately. All Manipur Muslim Students Organisation (AMMSO), in a press statement on April 12, accused Govt of “stifling the voice of student community and curtailing the constitutional right of freedom of expression”.thewire


Gujarat Police Lodges FIR Against SC Prashant Bhushan, 2 Others

Gujarat police have registered a criminal case against Supreme Court’s senior advocate Prashant Bhushan and two others on the basis of a tweet on March 28 in which he had said that “our heartless ministers celebrate consuming and feeding the opium of Ramayan and Mahabharata to the people”.The charges levelled against him are under IPC’s Section 295A pertaining to hurting religious feelings, Section 505/1/B pertaining to inducement to disturb public tranquility, Section 34 pertaining to committing an act with common intention and Section 120B pertaining to entering into a criminal conspiracy punishable with death, life sentence or rigorous imprisonment for 2 years or more. The other 2 persons mentioned in FIR are ex IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan and one Ashlin Matthew.India Tomorrow


MP: Setback for Kamal Nath, SC holds valid Governor’s call for floor test

In a breather for the Shivraj Singh Chouhan Govt in Madhya Pradesh, the Supreme Court on Monday held valid Governor  Lalji Tandon’s decision to order a floor test in the state assembly after the resignation of 22 Congress MLAs.The apex court bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud said the Governor was “right in ordering the floor test given the fact of the case” and that it was necessary as Congress Govt had lost majority. In its 68-page judgment, the bench rejected the contention of then chief minister, Kamal Nath, that the Governor can at best call for a session but not ask for a floor test in a running assembly. The top court also relied on the 1994 verdict of Justice Bommai which held that a Chief Minister’s refusal to test his strength on the floor of the Legislative Assembly can well be interpreted as prima facie proof of his no longer enjoying the confidence of the legislature.indianexpress


Policeman Killed, Another Injured In Militant Attack In Kashmir's Kishtwar

A  SPO was killed and another injured on Monday in a militant attack in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir, a police official said.The incident took place at remote Tandar village of Dachan this afternoon, the official said.He said some militants attacked the two SPOs on duty, killing one of them and leaving the other critically injured.Special Operation Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police specifically deals with counter-insurgency operations.outlookindia


Delhi records second earthquake in less than 24 hours

A low-intensity earthquake of magnitude 2.7 shook parts of Delhi on Monday, National Centre for Seismology said. It is the second quake to hit the national capital region in less than 24 hours but no report of any damage was received.The quake, with its epicentre near Wazirpur in northeast Delhi, occurred at 1:26 p.m. at a shallow depth of 5 km, said JL Gautam, Head (Operations) at NCS, an institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.On Sunday, a moderate intensity quake of magnitude 3.5 hit the national capital at a depth of 8 km. However, unlike Sunday, when people rushed out of their homes in panic, no such report was received on Monday.PTI


Kashmiri former IAS Shah Faesal’s 5-year-old son wants him released from detention

5-year-old Jami Faesal is missing his father, Shah Faesal. And Shah family is finding it extremely hard to explain to a child when he can hug his father again.On August 14 last year, Kashmir’s celebrated bureaucrat-turned politician Shah Faesal was detained at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and sent to Srinagar where he was formally arrested and booked under PSA. Iram, Faesal’s spouse, demands her husband’s immediate and unconditional release so that he can be with his family during these tough times when a lockdown has been imposed to curb Covid-19 pandemic. Jami, who turned five  wants his “papa back home” so he can play with him. It was a painful moment for the family to ‘celebrate’ Jami’s fifth birthday in the absence of his father.thefederal


Economic and ecological disaster predicted as 16 million poplar trees are ordered to be axed in Kashmir

Srinagar: Union Territory in Kashmir has started a massive axing and looping programme of Russian female poplar trees locally know as “Russi phras” in wake of Covid-19 on the directions of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir.As the erstwhile state grapples with an escalating economic loss due to the six months lockdown, the Govt has ordered axing of 16 million Poplar trees in Kashmir. The order came in wake of rapid spread of COVID19 as the Valley records 04 deaths and over 200 positive cases, with Govt claiming that the pollen generated by this Russian breed trees during the spring season could become carriers of the coronavirus.The order, issued last week, has stoked fear that the drive may result in large-scale cutting of poplar trees — a move that many experts believe will have a huge impact on not just local ecology but also the economy.TwoCircles



Egypt accuses Muslim Brotherhood of 'inciting against burial of Covid-19-victim doctor'

Egypt’s Interior Ministry accused the Muslim Brotherhood of “instigating the prevention of burial of a female doctor who died of coronavirus” in Egypt’s north-eastern Governorate, Dakahlia.The accusations came in a statement by the ministry on its official Facebook page.Describing the people who had participated in the incident as “outlaws,” the ministry accused them of “responding to rumours and incitement made by the Brotherhood group under the pretext of preventing the spread of the virus.”On Saturday, Footage posted online showed dozens of people gathered in front of an ambulance to stop it from entering the burial grounds in Dakahlia’s village of Shubra Al-Bahou over fears that the body could spread the virus. The crowd was dispersed by the local police after they fired canisters of tear gas. Police also arrested 23 protestors.middleeastmonitor


'Important step': US envoy welcomes release of Afghan prisoners

US special envoy for reconciliation in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, who negotiated a deal with the Taliban, has said an initial prisoner exchange between the armed group and Afghan Govt was an "important step" towards peace. According to the Red Cross, the Taliban released 20 Afghan security force prisoners on Sunday after the Govt released 300 "low-risk" Taliban captives, who have pledged not to return to the fight and are being let go based on various factors including their health, age and length of remaining sentence."The release of prisoners is an important step in the peace process and the reduction of violence," Khalilzad said on Twitter on Monday.aljazeera


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Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 8:02 PM).  



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